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Ice challenge with significance

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Match Preview: Fremantle v Essendon

Alex Malcolm  April 10, 2014 11:28 AM

The last two minutes Watch the last two minutes from the four point loss against Essendon.
FREMANTLE face another tough test this week on the back of a 58-point loss to Hawthorn. Essendon travel west in red-hot form and full of confidence after crushing Carlton. The Bombers beat the Dockers in round three at Patersons Stadium last year when the coach and the club were under enormous pressure. This year they travel with a new, experienced coach and the pressure off. They would also be comfortable in the knowledge that the Dockers have not beaten them under Ross Lyon. The Dockers are without Nat Fyfe and Michael Barlow and their absence will hurt against the Essendon midfield that is the equal best in centre clearances per match (16) in season 2014.

WHERE AND WHEN: Patersons Stadium, Sunday March 13, 2.40pm AWST

TV AND RADIO: Click here for the broadcast guide

LAST FIVE TIMES
R3, 2013, Essendon 10.12 (72) d Fremantle 9.14 (68) at Patersons Stadium
R13, 2012, Essendon 17.11 (113) d Fremantle 14.5 (89) at Patersons Stadium
R12, 2011, Fremantle 15.8 (98) d Essendon 9.10 (64) at Patersons Stadium
R2, 2010, Fremantle 17.11 (113) d Essendon 9.15 (69) at Etihad Stadium
R21, 2009, Fremantle 21.15 (141) d Essendon 13.9 (87) at Patersons Stadium

Talking points ahead of Essendon

THE SIX POINTS
1. Essendon defeated Fremantle the last time the two sides met at Patersons Stadium. The Bombers won a thriller by four points despite kicking just one goal in the first half and trailing at half-time by six goals.

2. The Bombers have won the last two contests between the sides but since late 2009 the Dockers hold a narrow advantage with three wins to two.

3. Fremantle is the number one ranked side for inside 50s in 2014 averaging 58.3 per game. Essendon is ranked third with 55.3.

4. The Bombers have had the most disposals in the competition in 2014 averaging 435 per game. They are also number one for uncontested possessions with 299 per game.

5. Fremantle continues to be difficult to beat at home. Since the beginning of 2012 the Dockers have won 21 of 26 Patersons Stadium matches, conceding an average score against of just 63 points per game.

6. The Dockers have the best defence in the AFL but their highest rated defender on the Official AFL Player Ratings is Michael Johnson (71). The highest ranked Essendon defender is Michael Hibberd (99).